BOSTON – As you’ve probably heard by now, the Trail Blazers had an optional practice Tuesday at Emerson College, located in the heart of the city’s Theater District. But it was what happened after the workout that made national news. A total of 10 Trail Blazers stuffed themselves into an elevator in the gym (yes, right there in the gym) to make their way back to the first floor and the team’s curbside bus. But that was too many large people packed in a relatively small box. The poor little machine just couldn’t handle the job. The players got stuck for nearly a half hour between floors and video of their dilemma went out on social media, allowing all of the nation’s sufferers of claustrophobia to get a little neurotic right along with them. As it turned out, the experience didn’t last long enough for the players to contemplate human sacrifice at dinnertime. But it did get a little warm inside that elevator and some players were a little more nervous than others. So, from the scene of Tuesday’s experience, here’s an Oral History of the Blazers’ Great Elevator Escapade:
It looks as if it’s going to be a difficult road for the Trail Blazers -- or any other team -- to steal that eighth playoff spot from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Multiple reports (the Athletic was first) indicate that six teams -- Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix and Washington -- not currently situated in the NBA’s 16-team playoff bracket will report to Orlando in addition to the playoff teams.
Teams will participate in an eight-game regular season and if that ends with the ninth seed closer than four games behind the eighth seed, a playoff will be held.
The Blazers, Kings and Pelicans all currently sit three and a half games behind No. 8 Memphis.
It’s being reported that the playoff between 8 and 9 would be double elimination for the higher seed and single elimination for the lower seed -- which seems to be a more complicated way of saying that the ninth seed must defeat the eighth seed twice in a row to advance.
It’s difficult to imagine any of those teams out of the playoff race now can make up three and a half games in just an eight-game schedule, meaning Memphis is still likely to be eighth.
But one of these teams is going to have to get hot to claim the ninth position and then stay hot, with no margin for error, by beating the No, 8 seed in consecutive games.
When the league halted play, there were five Western Conference teams vying for the eighth seed including Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, Sacramento, and Phoenix. There is one team, Washington, within six games of Orlando for the No. 8 spot in the East.
Charania reported that if the ninth seed is four or more games back, the eighth seed earns the spot. However, if the ninth seed is 4 or fewer games behind, there will be a play-in with a single elimination for the ninth seed or double elimination for the eighth seed. Portland was 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the eighth seed before the season was suspended on March 1.
Commissioner Adam Silver recently laid out four options to resume play. A return with 16 teams directly to playoffs, 20 teams with group/stage play, 22 teams with games to determine seeding, play-in tournament for the final seed and a 30-game format with a 72-game regular season with play-in tournament.
On Monday, NBCSNW's Dwight Jaynes reported the 22-team format was the plan gaining the most traction, but the format was yet to be determined.
Charania confirmed that the 16-team and 30-team proposals recently lost traction.
“The 16-team format would not provide teams currently out of the playoffs the opportunity to make a postseason bid, nor accomplish the financial upside of the other formats," Charania said. "The 30-team model, meanwhile, brings several bottom-feeding teams that do not belong in the bubble environment given the NBA’s medical safety and health priority.”
Some additional tidbits from Charania’s report include the draft lottery and combine taking place in August. As ESPN reported, the proposed timeline for the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals is October 12.
Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcastwith host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon, and Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri.
As the NBA inches closer to a return to play, there are so many questions still unanswered.
When will the season start?
Will there be a play-in style tournament to determine the playoffs?
Will the NBA go straight to the playoffs?
Will they return to play at a single site or two single sites?
What will the protocols be?
When will the season end?
When will next season begin?
This Thursday could be the day we get all or most of those questions answered.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA Board of Governors will meet Thursday to vote on the finalized plan for return. The NBA’s proposed timeline as a last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals would be October 12, according to the report.
Trail Blazers veteran and future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony shared a glass of wine with rapper Tip Harris AKA T.I. on Melo's weekly YouTube live show, 'What’s in your Glass'.
This week, though, was not about wine.
Instead, it was a real conversation between Melo and T.I. about the current state of the nation.
“There’s things that need to be talked about, things that need to be discussed,” Anthony said. “We’re going to focus more on where we’re at as a country. It’s a matter of generational racism that got us to a point where we’re at right now.”
The Trail Blazers forward started off the show with a virtual toast and asked his special guest how he was doing.
T.I. took a moment before answering.
I’m torn up just like everyone else, emotional, angry, upset. I’m sick and tired of it, fed up. As long as I’ve been living, I’ve been hearing from people that we don’t stick together.
These past few days, we’ve been sticking together. One thing I want to focus on are the things that bring us together vs. the things that tear us apart. We may have a different idea of how to get there, but we’re all on the same journey and we’re all fighting for the same cause.
We’re all fed up, we all know something must be done, we’re all on the same side fighting the same enemy. So, I say we start there and then build and grow. -- TI on What’s In Your Glass
Melo opened up about his difficult conversations with his 13-year-old son, Kiyan.
As Melo asked for T.I.’s advice on what he's saying to his young adult children, Melo added, “I’m having a hard time sitting down with my son.” Anthony also said that his son has “witnessed maybe 6 or 7 police killings of a black man.”
T.I. has made it clear to his children that he wants them to know, "This is not a problem that they brought about, that they caused. This was like that before they got here.”
The Atlanta, Georgia native continued to share how he sits down and talks with his kids.
We just have to find the best way to deal with it and remain safe, healthy and free in the process and I think the best way to do that is remove emotion. It’s difficult, especially for young people. [My advice] is hit or miss because there are no right answers. There’s nothing that they can do that will guarantee that they will not be killed. There’s nothing I can tell them, for sure, without fail, if you do it like this, you’ll stay alive. I don’t have that answer. The main message I have for youth is that we support you. We may not always understand you, we are all on the same side. It’s going to take all of what you’ve got and a little bit of what we’ve got to defeat this beast that we have ahead of us.
Anthony shared how he feels things are different right now and reiterated that it’s up to him, T.I., and other influencers to make sure they continue to work towards change.
“We’re dealing with a new, different breed of protestors who don’t know consequence, who don’t give a damn about consequence, who’s ready to go by any means necessary,” Carmelo said. “Even though everyone’s out there doing what we're doing, we're protesting, we standing up for what we believe in, we standing up for what’s right, we’re standing up against injustices, I don’t think people understand why people are protesting... I don't think they understand that this country was built on protests at the end of the day. We’ve protested to have this country to be what it is today... The people that are in power right now are abusing that... I don’t like tearing up our s***. I don’t like tearing up our communities, but there comes a time where we can’t tell people to stop at this very moment... We’ve got to be careful in what we say because we are the influencers in our community, which is the black community.”
What’s going on right now is different from past movements and this is how T.I. and Melo know:
“I’ve never seen a police station burn,” T.I. said, to which Anthony replied, “That’s when I knew s*** was real.”
What about T.I's. message?
That’s what Melo wanted to know and wanted his friend to share with the world as Anthony mentioned he is still trying to figure out his message.
America has incredible debt to pay and the laws of reciprocity are in order. But, in order for the movement to make the most significant amount of impact, you’ve got to have an incredible amount of purpose and direction... I think if you lead with purpose and direction, I think you make more impact that way. -- T.I.
Melo continued to share his thoughts on what he can do, saying “it’s on us, as leaders to lead because we can’t rely on the leaders in place right now.”
Carmelo wants to make sure his voice and the voices of other black lives are being heard now and will continue to be heard.
“I think the smartest thing to do... Now that we’ve got their attention, we’ve got to start plotting because they want to shut s*** down. They’re going to do everything in their power to shut s*** down, shut us up. How do we come out of this as a black community?”
T.I. echoed that sentiment, saying people need to also show up at the polls and vote.
I hope that we can depend on justice…
We have all the power we need. We can build or destroy any business, any brand, any corporation. All we have to do is show united support or united disgust to any corporation or person and the power comes from our collective effort... It’s going to take all of what you’ve got to defeat this beast that we have ahead of us. It’s a dastardly machine with with clandestine intentions and I don’t think that my way alone is going to work and I don’t think your way alone is going to work. But together, collectively, we can work together to play each card when it’s time to with the appropriate amount of force, effort, energy and purpose. -- T.I.
Today, on June 2nd, Black Out Tuesday, we can all learn from Carmelo Anthony and T.I.’s discussion on this day of collective disconnect from work as we come together in support of the Black community.
Check out the entire episode of What’s in Your Glass right here.
Today, June 2nd, is Black Out Tuesday, a day of collective disconnect from work meant to help people reflect and come together in support of the Black community. It is a day promoted by activists to observe, mourn and bring about policy change.
The campaign is aimed at protesting police violence and racism as well as honoring George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police has sparked universal outcry and demonstrations in US cities and around the world.
Tuesday, Northwest sports teams and its athletes, both past and present stand against social injustice, racism and police brutality.
Below is a running list of sports organizations, players and coaches who have shared the powerful message: